Sweet(er) Ride

I loathe driving.  So much so, that I used to race around as fast as I could, so that I could arrive at my destination and be done driving ASAP.  I thought I was saving precious time.

The reality?  I wasn’t.  It took me 22 minutes to get from my driveway to the Royal Lane exit off the Tollway, doing 75 mph, getting pissed off at everyone and their brother for being in my way.

The result?  I arrived at school at 7am, already irate at the entire world, my heart pounding and my legs still wobbly from the adrenalin release.  Wow, real productive.  To add insult to injury, I was getting about 13 miles to the gallon and I was refilling my gas tank every 5 days.  Thinking back, I remember discussion of a vague theory that some vehicles are designed to go 55 mph – lower or higher, they said, and you lose mileage.

So, I did a little experiment…

The Old Me used to drive 70-75 miles an hour.  The New-and-Improved Me decided to try and keep it between 60 and 65, just to see what would happen.

The result?  I got about 17-18 miles to the gallon.  This got me 50 more miles to the tank, which means I could wait 6 days between fill-ups.  This translates to 5 fill-ups a month instead of 6, and when gas was $4 a gallon, this meant a savings of $80 a month.  For real.  Oh yeah–and all that extra time I was saving?  Three minutes.  Three.  Which could get eaten up at a stoplight doing 75.  So the “time saved” was hardly significant at all.

The biggest payoff, though, was that my red-faced perpetual state of general global intolerance had all but dissipated.  Am I still snippy and brash?  Sure, from time to time.  But I no longer harbor intensely the feeling that no one can do anything right (unless I’m PMS-ing, which is a different matter all together) from the 7 AM git-go.  My blood pressure went down.  My adrenals finally reconstituted from their shriveled state and reclaimed their rightful place atop my kidneys, albeit in long-term recovery mode.  Hey–at least they’re not still backed into a corner, afraid to move.  Progress!

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